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chronic neck pain:  systemic inflammation -vs- local inflammation — healing chronic neck pain by inducing inflammation


We all know that when it comes to health, inflammation is bad.  Or is it?  Understanding the difference between local inflammation and systemic inflammation is paramount if you want to solve chronic health issues, including CHRONIC PAIN.  Let me take just a couple of moments to explain the difference between the two.

First off, inflammation is a name, just like Jeff, Roger, or Sally is a name.  It happens to be the name given to the chemical mediators that are responsible for intercellular communication.  In other words, inflammation allows cells to talk to each other, which is a good and necessary thing. 

If you were to have a local injury ( a cut or SPRAIN / STRAIN), inflammation is released into the local tissue to start a process to protect you from invaders (bacteria, virus, etc, etc).  The other chief purposes of inflammation are to get rid of said invader (if in fact there is one), get rid of dead or damaged tissue that could be the result of the initial injury or the inflammatory process itself, and finally to kick-start the process of tissue repair and regeneration.
Something that is important to remember is that inflammation is not synonymous with either swelling or infection.  While infection can and certainly does (at least most of the time) cause inflammation, they are a totally different physiological process. And as for swelling; even though you hear the two words (“swelling & inflammation”) used interchangeably, this is also incorrect. 

Acute inflammation often causes swelling because it not only attracts fluid to it, but increases blood flow, vasodilation (the blood vessels dilate), and permeability of the capillary bed, which allows more fluid and certain chemicals to leak out more easily.

If you are still confused, or simply interested in more information concerning the various mediators known as “inflammation,” make sure to check out my post on this topic (HERE).  I also have information on the phases of healing that occurs after the inflammatory phase — a phase that is essentially over in a few days (HERE).  Bottom line, when it comes to hardcore CHRONIC NECK PAIN, to have any hope of defeating it, you’ll have to figure out a way to manage inflammation


The first key to effectively dealing with your chronic neck is treating it as though the problem were systemic.  In other words, despite that fact that almost all doctors, therapists, chiros, etc are extremely focused on solving the local problem, sometimes the forest is missed for the trees.  No matter how good your treatment methods are for dealing with Chronic Neck Pain (PHASE I, PHASE II, etc) a failure to effectively address SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION can and often does doom one to failure.  I will elaborate on this concept further in an upcoming post on LEAKY GUT SYNDROME.

A second key is that you may actually have to induce some inflammation to get the healing process re-started.  I’ve written a slew of articles (HERE is one of the more recent) showing that inflammation always leads to Scar Tissue / Fibrosis.  This is problematic because Scar Tissue always leads to degeneration, which in turn leads to more inflammation (HERE).  Even though Scar Tissue is not a grand thing as far as normal neck function is concerned, it’s living tissue with a blood supply. BREAKING SCAR TISSUE not only mechanically “UNTETHERS” people, it induces a potent local inflammatory response, which, as I’ve explained to you, restarts the healing process. 

The coolest thing about harnessing the power of inflammation (local inflammation) to treat patients with chronic neck pain is just how powerful it can be.  Rather than seeing patients over and over and over again on long, drawn-out treatment schedules (LIKE THIS), most patients respond rapidly — many of them instantly or almost so — to this method of treatment.  The best example I can give you is to look at just a few of our mind-blowing VIDEO TESTIMONIALS. Oh, and be sure to like, share or follow on FACEBOOK while you are at it! It’s a great way to reach those you know struggling with chronic neck pain.


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